New York Knicks: Melo's focus on teammates and winning, not Phil's comments
Dec 7, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) and Cleveland Cavaliers small forward LeBron James (23) react as James is called for a foul during the second quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony was in no mood to talk about Phil Jackson’s recent comments after a beatdown from the Cavs.

On Wednesday night Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks were humiliated for the second time this season by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Anthony played 24 minutes and scored just 8 points on 4-9 shooting. James had an effortless 25 points on 7-10 shooting and spent the fourth quarter trying to pull off the water bottle challenge.

The out of character performance 126-94 beatdown came at a particularly bad time for Anthony. Phil Jackson commented on Tuesday to CBS Sports Network that New York’s franchise player holds the ball for too long.

After another loss to his good friend and three-time champion James, Melo wasn’t in the mood to discuss Phil’s comments.

Can anyone blame him? His squad had just allowed the champs to shoot 55% from three-point range (22-40) and run all over them for 23 fast break points.

Per Ian Begley of ESPN New York, Anthony is focused on more important things right now.

“I don’t even know what was said, to be honest with you. I just don’t even want to talk about that, what he’s talking about exactly. I want to stay away from that at this point,” Anthony said. “My focus is my teammates and winning. We’ve been playing great basketball, and that’s the only thing I’m focused on. Whatever Phil said, he said it. I have nothing to say about that.”

Jeff Hornacek was put in the uncomfortable position of having to answer for his boss’ comments. He chose to support Melo.

“Yeah, I think there’s probably times that happens. But then there’s other times when he does what he did last night and just carries us,” Hornacek said Wednesday. “It’s a fine balance. He’s a star player who can really create his own shot from that midrange area. Sometimes we talk about maybe moving the ball and holding it, maybe it’s a second or two too long for a normal guy, but for Carmelo, it’s fine, because he can make that play.”

“We just have to make sure the other guys understand they still should cut, and Carmelo, when we keep going to him at those spots, he’ll make passes out of there. That’s when we’ll become really good. He did it last night. They tried to double him once, and he just threw it right, I think, to Courtney [Lee] for a wide-open 3. He’s willing to pass that ball if they come double him. Teams force 4-on-3 opportunities with pick-and-rolls. We just do it with Carmelo.”

Anthony and the Knicks will travel to Sacramento and start their five-game West Coast road trip against the Kings on Friday, Dec. 9 at 10:30 p.m. ET.

 NEXT: New York Knicks boss Phil Jackson admits to marijuana use 


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